Prior to the Thursday Night Football game, I wrote a column telling my readers to temper their expectations a bit with Drew Brees this week thanks to the New Orleans Saints‘ rejuvenated running game. Well, I ended up confidently starting Brees in my lineup this week and he returned the favor by finishing the day with a ghastly five fantasy points (yes, you read that correctly).
Now I hope to flip my luck this week by writing a positive article about my other fantasy football stud, Trent Richardson.
Richardson has been the lone bright spot in another disappointing season for the Cleveland Browns. He is the engine of the Browns’ offense, by possessing the power to run through defenders, the quickness to get around the edge, the hands to make every catch, and the awareness to pick up blocks in pass protection. These are all exceptional qualities that make him the dynamic rookie that he is, regardless of the team he plays for.
Since Cleveland is sitting at a record of 3-8, it’s easy to overlook how consistent Richardson has been on a week-to-week basis. However, in his last four games, Richardson has averaged over 100 yards and has yet to score fewer than 13 fantasy points.
Next up, the Browns will square off against the Oakland Raiders and their 25th-ranked defense. Through 12 weeks, the Raiders defense has allowed an alarming 131.2 rushing yards per game and their 15 rushing scores are second-worst in the NFL.
With a suspect Raiders’ defense up next on the schedule, who made BenJarvus Green-Ellis look like Hall-of-Fame running back Jim Brown last week, expect the Browns to lean heavily on Richardson during this matchup. He’ll be a top-3 fantasy running back option this week for sure.